Since 2008 companies have been hunkering down and regrouping when it comes to their employees. While some companies laid people off, others kept employees but shifted hours or the whole company agreed to salary cuts in order to weather the storm. It’s fair to say that employees have definitely taken the brunt of the economic downturn. Now is the time for organizations to find ways to show appreciation for all the sacrifices their employees have had to make.
This month we’ve been sharing ways that organizations can reward and recognize their people. I’ve noted a lot of different ways you can love your employees. Today I want to focus on a little used employee reward, job enrichment. As the tide is turning back to a job seekers market, you will want to pull out all the stops to keep your star players on the team. Job enrichment can be a win-win for the organization and the employee.
What is job enrichment? Its a change in what your employees do or how they do it. Enrichment structures ways for employees to find the job growth and challenge they crave without leaving their current job or employer.
According to Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans in the book Love ‘EM or Lose ‘EM Getting Good People to Stay,
An enriched job:
- Gives employees room to initiate, create and implement new ideas
- Promotes setting and achieving personal and group goals
- Allows employees to see their contributions to an end product or goal
- Challenges employees to expand on their knowledge and capabilities
- Has a future beyond itself
At a company like Zappos they think it’s important for employees to grow both personally and professionally. It’s part of the Zappos culture for employees to constantly challenge and stretch themselves, so they are not stuck in a job where they don’t feel like they are growing or learning. They also believe that inside every employee there is more potential than event the employee realizes. The goal of this type of culture is to help employees unlock that potential. (WOW! Don’t you want to work for a company that values growth?)
Some questions you can ask yourself or your employees to set out on a path of job enrichment is:
- Do you know how your job is important to the company?
- What skills do you use on the job? What talents do you have that you don’t use?
- What about your current job do you find challenging or rewarding?
- What areas would you like increased responsibility?
- What do you want to do in the next two- five years?
- What ways would you like your job changed?
What you are trying to do is help your employee evaluate their current job and discover ways to enrich it. Remember, everyone will be different. Everyone wants something different from each of their jobs, this process will need to be explored by each individual and supported by each manager. Everyone is not bored by their job, just some people so don’t panic if you have a few key people come to you and ask to be considered for a job enrichment program.
The way I see it, you have two choices. You can help your good people find a way to love their job again or you can lose them to your competitor. Do something about it while you still have the time.